You can judge the nature of man by how he behaves with people who do nothing for him.
This seemed like an apt quote in good times but is it relevant to how things are shaping up in our life currently? Are people really good or bad or do circumstances make them so?
Philosophers state that isolation brings out the best in people and the worst in people. Two months into isolation, I can see the best in me and the worst in me. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are becoming more distinct by the day. I dread the thought of isolation for the next 18 months (WHO states that this life will continue till early 2022 when the vaccine arrives)- but the other side of me says that thought is nothing but a projection of the mind into the future. Future exists only in one’s mind.
As a business owner, I am deeply concerned about my staff. These people have endured me for more than a decade. How do I make these dozen families survive? My house owner keeps clamoring for the rent that is due and which he is duly entitled to. Meanwhile, I am forced to turn the other way when the iron-press lady pleads with me to give few clothes, which she would iron for a few rupees in return. I mockingly state – ‘who would require ironing, I rarely go out.’
I am afraid to admit that I am not willing to partake a few rupees in return of the services. So it goes, with the cook, the maid and the watchman.
Am I good or bad or do the circumstances make me so?
I recollect the story of ‘The Lord of the Flies’ where a group of kids get stranded in an island. Initially they form rules, just like our dear Prime Minister did. Have fun, survive and constantly keep sending smoke signals to alert passing ships. To draw a parallel, watch TV at home, wear the mask and alert medical authorities in case of cough and fever.
Initially everything was hunky-dory for the boys. Slowly these boys started developing paranoia for a beast (COVID) in the island. Gradually the misunderstanding builds up and then the slug-fest starts. The boys started having imaginary dialogues in their heads – ‘Lord of the Flies’.
Fear takes over these young boys and survival becomes their main issue. Though these boys are from decent families, start exhibiting feral, war-like behavior. The entire island gets burned down and many of the boys who were once the best of friends end up killing each other.
Am I really good or bad? Will I be able to maintain my equanimity in times to come or would ‘The Lord of the Flies’ consume me?
Will I be able to provide adequately for my family and my extended family in days to come? Will the best of my parenting or the worst of my parenting come out? How would I maintain my relationship with people who do nothing for me? I seek an answer.
Would relationship experts and parenting guides come to my rescue? What strategies could I adopt to wade through these treacherous waters while keeping me, my family, my extended family (my staff) and the society at large in one piece?
My apologies for being vulnerable at this hour but who else could I seek refuge from but you good Samaritans. I await your suggestions.
This is Shiv signing off from S & S Family First